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Made Arsa

Artisan Organization: Made Arsa

Country: Bali & Java

"I was born in Bali in 1964. My village — Peliatan — is very famous for its customs and arts. There are so many artists and wood craftsmen here. This is where I first got to know and craft and learned to carve wood.

"I come from a family of farmers. We live very simply — just feeding everyone can be quite difficult. However, both of my parents tried to replace their energy to try for me and my seven siblings to still be able to go to school.

"When I finished my senior high school education, I started working as a sculptor. It was from this place where I first worked that I learned many techniques for making sculptures until I ventured to build my own workshop.

"At my age, which is no longer young, I am a man and have been blessed with two sons and two grandchildren. My life feels very complete with their presence in this world. This makes me work harder."

"But life doesn't always go well, I also had a difficult time in my life. That's when the Bali bombing destroyed Bali's economy and tourism in 2002. I almost closed my shop because absolutely no buyers came.

"Funny things also colored my life at the beginning of starting a workshop. When I first started, I couldn't speak English at all. To communicate with buyers, I used sign language, which, when I think about it, is very funny.

"Of the many works I have made, the hummingbird is my best sculpture and the most challenging because the color details are quite complicated and require precision and concentration.

"In designing, I am inspired by the natural surroundings. The beautiful colors of animals and plants really appeal to me. I work to help my family and several carpenters, one of whom is disabled. The material that I use to make crafts is benalu wood which was only used as firewood but now can be an interesting work of art.""

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